Four Companies Using Big Data to Drive Innovation in Precision Medicine
A Recap of the 1st Digital Omics Innovators Meetup
By: Joelle Herman, Founder of NeoTrials, LLC
An Executive Forum on Digital Innovations in Precision Medicine was held on September 20th at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery Campus. This event was hosted by BioBuzz and Jeeva Informatics. Entrepreneurs from Jeeva Informatics, Synergy, Daily Breath and Health Wizz shared insights on how using Big Data is driving innovation.
The possibilities that Big Data technologies are bringing to health care, translational research and clinical research are exciting. The intersection of digital health and genomics and how this will create efficiencies and drives lower costs was reiterated by all the panelists. Each panelist had a unique app or service that purports to contribute a positive impact to the digital evolution.
Welcoming remarks came from Sam Sarkar of Synergy BIS. He shared how Synergy’s CareDial app aggregates the patients’ medical, social and behavioral data and enables a concentrated care coordination throughout the patients’ network of providers. This is expected to lower costs by reducing the frequency and duration of hospital stays as well as improve communication with the care management team. Synergy calls this a Population Health Management solution which starts with a data warehouse and incorporates patient demographics, electronic health records and community health records. The information also allows consent management and risk assessments and a referral record for social needs.
Harsha Rajasimha, PhD, Founder and CEO of Jeeva Informatics introduced Jeeva’ solutions and focused the conversation around clinical trials. His new precision medicine data science company’s vision is to “Reduce the cost and time of clinical research using digital health and OMICs technologies while improving patient experience.” What is OMICs, proteinomics, genomics, epigenomics, etc.
After a discussion of the challenges of clinical trials and going over the paradigm of precision medicine, we were introduced to how Big Data and digital health can reduce the cost and time of clinical research. The marriage of the two is expected to enable virtual or site-less clinical trials. This piqued my interest. The vision is that companies can develop data-driven novel products or biomarkers. So with the Jeeva mobile platform, companies can take patients econsents, OMICs profiles, lab results, surveys, virtual visit data and more to support regulatory submissions, patient trial matching or virtual trials, cohort studies and digital discovery.
With the convergence of clinical trials, mobile health and precision medicine being discussed, Eric Klos introduced the topic of Personalized Exposure Health, the HealtheWeather Intelligence platform and a new app solution for chronic asthma sufferers called DailyBreath. With 50 million allergy and asthma sufferers in the US, the DailyBreath app is designed as a personal allergy and asthma learning and warning service based on the environmental triggers in a patient’s daily life. It tells patients what their personalized risk index (not just AQI) are for the day based on environmental triggers. By helping identify an individual’s susceptibility to exposure, it can help increase medication adherence and ultimately provide better control. He wants to go direct to patients/consumers (free, personalized, premium) via the App Stores and distribute the DailyBreath API on a licensing model in other products. He definitely would like to see this app used in clinical trials as well as sell subscription access to anonymized data to biopharma.
With data sharing and health data ownership being at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days, companies are looking for ways to utilize the blockchain and disrupt the data brokers and put the control of your health data back in your hands. Raj Sharma shared his company’s newest app HealthWizz. This app aggregates data from all health aspects of a patient’s life, as well as wearable data (i.e. Fit Bit, Apple watch) and puts the ownership and control in the patient’s hands. HealthWizz uses the blockchain to have pier to pier type contracts so you can share your data as you wish and get paid for it. HealthWizz is building an ecosystem of sharing data, while incentivizing consumers by offering points to put towards gift cards(i.e. Amazon) for sharing your data. Rag calls it, “an exchange of value,” and would like to see further campaigns in clinical trials be progressed using this app. He plans to promote its use in trials to contract research organizations and pharmaceutical companies.
Here’s were the panelists stood on a few additional questions.
Question: Describe the current environment for innovation?
Rag: “I see tremendous opportunities.”
Klos: “It’s going to explode.”
Question: What types of data sets are there? What about the regulatory landscape?
Rag: “Data is all over the place and there are lots of gaps, but once the data is aggregated, it will provide a valuable service. The evidence burden is going up.” “There are greater than 300 EMR types, so its very fragmented. There are data standards and data transmission challenges.”
Klos: “Regulations are in flux.” “Google, Amazon and Apple will be your health bank.”
Question: What types of talent are you looking for?
Klos: “Lots of nurses and mobile app specialists.”
Rag: “ We need lots of people who are architects, who understand data = data scientists. Really across the board.”
With all of these exciting health data apps, further meet-ups are in the works to discuss ways to integrate with the current clinical trial ecosystem. Stay tuned for the 2nd OMICS Innovators Meetup happening in early December.